Friday, October 10, 2008
There's Something About Sarah
by CLINTON FEIN
It’s not the freakish, shrill non-answers she gives in the few not-quite interviews by not even close to journalists. It’s not the hard core fundamentalism, sugar-coated to create an illusion that she supported her unmarried teenage daughter’s “choice” to carry her fetus to term, when she would have insisted on it regardless -- even if the father was her husband, who had raped her. After making her pay for the sex assault kit. And firing anyone who sought funding to cover the costs for said rape kits.
It’s not her inability to avoid sounding like a malfunctioning former beauty pageant contestant robot when responding to questions about serious topics around foreign policy experience -- by regurgitating talking points about mavericks. Like Senator McCain is a maverick, Charlie, and like world peace, like, such as.
It’s not her strong affinity to pastor Thomas Muthee and the Assembly of God Church, parading their tragically comical “former gays’” for whom all powerful God, apparently in between warding off evil, car accident-causing witches, is able to cure of homosexual urges, although seemingly incapable of curing their limp wrists. A sad testament to the inefficacy of lisping in tongues.
It’s not the over-amped, amphetimine fueled, slightly manic data dump that all but immersed debate moderator Gwen Ifill, who McCain suggested had racist intentions based on her writing of a book about Obama, perhaps in an unsuccessful attempt to distract those of us who remember his buddy, Don Imus, referring to Ifill as a “cleaning lady.” McCain would make sure Sarah wasn’t intimidated by any nappy-headed hos. Anymore than he would refer to his wife, Cindy, as a cunt.
It’s this freak of nature. The anti-Christina of Feminism. This aw shucks automaton that will earn Tina Fey an Emmy, and elevate the ratings of Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, gives me the chills in ways I don’t quite understand. The notion that after nearly eight years of George W. Bush, America still believes that they’d rather have a President who they could knock back a beer with than one who might be able to string together a coherent sentence. The Tits on the Ticket personification of America’s racist undertone, allowing the narrowest of minds the perfect conduit to get away with voting for the bitch rather than the nigger and still look progressive.
Her interviews with Katie Couric of CBS News set the bar for the one and only Vice Presidential debate so extraordinarily low that the fact that she didn’t sound like a lobotomized drunk was enough for Pat Buchannan to declare that conservatives across the country were heaving a collective sigh of relief, and the rest of America to declare her performance a success. But, as Maureen Dowd pointed out, “she dangles gerunds, mangles prepositions, randomly exiles nouns and verbs and also — ‘also’ is her favorite vamping word — uses verbs better left as nouns, as in, ‘If Americans so bless us and privilege us with the opportunity of serving them,’ or how she tried to ‘progress the agenda.’”
The problem is not how low Sarah Palin set the bar for the debates, however. It’s how low she has set the bar for the Vice Presidency, and given John McCain’s precarious health and age, the Presidency. Contestants for American Idol are given more scrutiny than Sarah Palin’s vetting process and subsequent media access combined.
As we head into the final stretch, Sarah Palin has transformed into an attack dog, zoning in on Obama’s supposed ties to 60s radical William Ayers. “Our opponent ... is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country," Palin told a group of donors in Englewood, Colorado. "This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America. We see America as a force of good in this world. We see an America of exceptionalism." As the increasingly heated crowds become more racist, violent and threatening with every utterance.
In response to her less than adequate performances, particularly with her Katie Couric interviews, Palin stated: “The Sarah Palin in those interviews was a little bit annoyed. It's like, man, no matter what you say, you are going to get clobbered. If you choose to answer a question, you are going to get clobbered on the answer. If you choose to try to pivot and go to another subject that you believe that Americans want to hear about, you get clobbered for that too."
No, Ms. Palin. You aren’t being clobbered for answering a question. You’re being clobbered for the pivoting. The notion that you somehow know better what American’s want to hear about as opposed to the Americans asking you the actual questions.
In the days leading up to the election, we are not going to learn anything more from Sarah Palin. She will continue to regurgitate talking points that contradict others she has made – less government, but more oversight, a fresh, energetic start that excludes an old Washington insider like Joe Biden, but not John McCain, Obama’s inexperience compared to her ability to see Russia from Alaska – and it’s the best we can expect from her.
Say it ain’t so, Sarah! There you go spewing talking points again like a senile Arizonian senator... Now, doggone it, let’s answer just one fucking question and tell Americans who and what the hell you are. You mention this imaginary media filter, and I’m glad you did. They are a pathetic bunch. But with your genuine belief in evil witches and the Flintstones, a little clarity from you is not asking too much now, is it? God help us. Our reward for your ascendancy is in hell, right?”
My only fear, and this is why Sarah Palin gives me the chills, is that for America, this inadequacy masked as mediocrity may just be good enough.FOOTNOTES
In perhaps the most embarrassing interviews ever aired, setting female journalists back a good few decades, Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren interviewed Sarah Palin’s husband, Todd, gushing like a nun at a prison rodeo, with in-depth, probing questions like “Go back to this ‘First Dude.’ I mean, who came up with ‘First Dude’? It's a great name. I mean, who came up with ‘First Dude’?’ This, at a point where Palin had expressed his refusal to comply with a subpoena in the unfolding Troopergate scandal – the firing of the Public Safety Commissioner for the State of Alaska, Walt Monegon by Governor Palin. On October 10, 2008, an independent bipartisan commission of the Alaska Legislature cocluded that Palin had abused her power.
 Following the suspension and then firing of radio personality, Don Imus, from ABC and MSNBC respectively, after he referred to the Rutgers basketball team as “nappy headed hos,” John McCain was one of the few politicians to stand behind him, and was the first to appear on his new, albeit, castrated radio show.
Cliff Schecter's book, The Real McCain, recalls an incident in front of aides and consultant Wes Gullett in which McCain’s wife Cindy joked about his thinning hair. The ever even-tempered McCain is said to have responded, “At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt." McCain’s excuse was that it had been a long day. The generic excuse for Cindy’s tolerance is also known as hydrocodone.
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